More than 70 years after their B-26G Marauder was shot down near Seffern, Germany, a crew of airmen is coming home, the Defense Department POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Tuesday Aug. 11. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William P. Cook and a crew of five airmen took off from Saint Quentin, France, on Dec. 23, 1944, to bomb an enemy-held bridge in Eller, Germany. The plane crashed near the Germany-Belgium border, but Army Graves Registration Command was unable to find the aircraft and crew after the war, according to the release. The site of the crash was first located in 2006, and after excavations in 2012 and 2013, Cook and three crew members were returned to their fam?ilies in the US and Canada for military burials over the last year. Flight Officer Arthur LeFavre of Red Bank, N.J., and SSgt. Ward Swalwell Jr. of Chicago will be buried with full military honors this month in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., as will other recovered remains representing the crew.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.